I'll be honest with you - when I first got told about the concept of KickStarter by the lads at KRCS, I nearly cried with happiness. Always with their fingers at the extremes of what's happening in the digital world, they could not believe I hadn't heard of it before.
For those of you lagging a little behind KickStarter is a website that puts you in touch with people who want to fund your ideas. Yep you did read that right the first time! Designers, engineers, photographers, sculptors, game designers, filmmakers, musicians, inverters today is your day.
Now crowd sourcing (as its known as) has been around for a while but KickStarter has become the worlds foremost facilitator of pairing good ideas with the money to make them happen.
To date their successes include the spactualarlly ambitious Underwater Relm project captained by the talented and generous Eva Haslotin (releated completely by chance to someone in this documentary).
Underwater Relm smashed expectations when they raise a wooping $150,000 a full $90,000 over their target.
Formers game designer ...... smashed records when they raised 1 million dollars in 24 hours.
Add this together with the numerous smaller projects asking for $500-$5000 and the benefits begin to make themselves apparent.
In fact KickStarter has proved to be so successful that major electronics firms have tried floating their ideas on the website to see if the public will actually pay for their research! Well you can't blame them for trying can you?
Okay why is this good for filmmakers? Trying to get traditional funding from a regional body was akin to trying to speak with your lips stapled to a wall. That was before the credit crunch. They have a limited budget and thus have to be choosy who they put money behind. I have been funded once by the regional system and I can't say its an experience I wish to repeat.
This truly is the next step in the democratisation of filmmaking. We have the ideas. We have the gear. Now, with everybody's help we have the money. The most successful campaigns have had decent incentives to reward potential investors. In the case of a set of designer kitchen knives, a low level contribution of $1 would receive a hearty thanks, a $100 investment would see you with a set knives for yourself signed by the designer and engraved with your initials.
Film incentives range from getting a credit as a financier to getting weekly updates from the set, in depth tutorials on how effects were achieved, invitations to the premiere, personalised DVD copies. The list goes on.
KickStarter UK launched to a fanfare of relief from cash strapped artist who no longer have to sit on their ideas.
I have yet to take advantage of KickStarter. All my current projects were already open before I knew of KickStarter's existence. It is reassuring to know that if I came up with a phenomenal idea there's every chance I could follow through with it.... Providing other people agreed that is.
Take the time to peruse KickStarter yourself. You will be surprised what you will find. It could just blow your mind.